Brexit brings devolution risks

Centre for Cities has warned that British devolution faces a ‘standstill following the vote for the UK to leave the European Union.

The think tank believes the referendum, which finished in favour of leaving the EU by 52 per cent to 48, could drastically affect certain cities which rely heavily on EU funding.

Leaders from Cornwall and the Tess Valley have already voiced concerns and called for compensation to cover the loss of any potential funding drop from the EU.

Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said: “Now that the result of the referendum is clear, we need to focus on what happens next. It’s too early to understand the full implications of Brexit for places across the country, but the political and economic uncertainty ahead will clearly have a huge impact on the future of UK city economies.

“There is also a serious risk that the government’s devolution agenda will come to a standstill, with the political focus likely to shift to moving powers from Brussels to Westminster, rather than empowering UK cities to grow their economies. In the weeks ahead, it’s vital that political leaders seek to provide as much clarity and certainty on these issues as possible, and demonstrate that UK cities remain open for trade, talent and investment.”